British diver rescued off Malaysia says his son died at sea

MERSING, Malaysia, April 9 (Reuters) – A Dutch teenager who disappeared after going diving off the coast of Malaysia is dead, according to his father who was found drifting at sea on Saturday, officials said.

Fourteen-year-old Nathan Renze Chesters and his British father Adrian Peter Chesters, 46, were in a group of four who went missing on Wednesday afternoon on a training dive near Tokong Sanggol, a small island off the southeastern town of Mersing.

The elder Chesters and Alexia Alexandra Molina, 18, from France were rescued by fishermen at around 1 am (1700 GMT on Friday) off Indonesia’s Bintan island, southeast of Singapore, and some 100 km (60 miles) south of where they went missing, official said.

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The group’s instructor, Kristine Grodem, 35, from Norway, was rescued on Thursday. read more

Nathan, whose body has not been recovered, was confirmed to have died by his father, “as he was too weak and could not survive,” the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said in a statement.

Police had said Indonesian authorities would take over the search for the teenager as he had likely drifted into their waters.

“We believe there is a high likelihood that he is no longer in Malaysian waters based on the movement of sea currents, as well as the time and location where the other victims were found,” Mersing district police chief Cyril Edward Nuing told reporters.

Malaysian assets would be on standby to help, he said.

Grodem earlier told the group officials surfaced about an hour into their dive on Wednesday but could not find their boat.

She was later separated from the others after being caught in strong currents.

The boat operator who took them to the dive site was detained after testing positive for drugs, police said.

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Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Ebrahim Harris; Editing by Robert Birsel and William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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